August 2019

Audience: Executive Leadership, Foster Caregivers, Public, Shelter/Rescue Staff & Volunteers, Veterinary Team

For some dogs, an occasional, isolated episode of vomiting can be nothing to worry about. If your dog does not have any other signs of illness (e,g, fever, lethargy, not eating), it is best to be patient and continue to monitor your dog.

Signs that Your Dog Needs to See a Veterinarian

  • Vomiting beyond a day or two
  • Vomiting more than three times
  • Vomiting large amounts
  • Vomiting along with lethargy and/or diarrhea
  • Vomiting with blood in it

What You Can Do in the Meantime

  • Do not feed your dog for 12 hours; then try feeding a small amount of a bland food (e.g., plain boiled chicken and plain cooked white rice). If he/she keeps this food down, continue to feed frequent small amounts of bland food for a day or two. If your dog continues to vomit, withhold food until your dog can see a veterinarian.
  • Encourage your dog to drink small, frequent amounts of water so that he/she does not become dehydrated. Water fountains can entice your dog to drink more water. Place additional bowls of fresh water throughout the house.
  • Look around your house for any evidence that your dog got into something that he/she should not have (e.g., garbage can is knocked over, household items have been chewed up, medications or chemicals are spilled on the floor).
  • If your dog is new to your home, minimize stress by providing a "safe zone" where your dog can retreat without being bothered by people or other pets.

Common Causes of Vomiting

  • Stress
  • Diet changes
  • Toxins like antifreeze, Xylitol, leaves of poisonous plants, slug bait, and certain medications
  • Swallowing objects such as stuffing from a toy, parts of shoes, rocks, etc.
  • Gastrointestinal conditions like constipation, inflammatory bowel disease, or intestinal obstruction
  • Infectious diseases like parvovirus

Treatment of Vomiting

  • Subcutaneous or intravenous fluid therapy
  • Medication to stop vomiting
  • Bland, easily digested diet once the vomiting has stopped

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